Avs/Hurricanes Grades – It happened

The Colorado Avalanche survived an onslaught of shots from the Carolina Hurricanes but were able to overcome everything and escape with a 5-3 victory.

Sven Andrighetto (D) - Holy cow.  It's very difficult to on the ice for 28 shot attempts against, and Andrighetto did it in only 10 5 on 5 minutes.  To boot, he was only on the ice for 5 shots on the Canes net.  It was a tough night for that line all around, and he finished with a -2.

Mark Barberio (C+) - It certainly wasn't a perfect game for him, but he made a nice play on the opening goal for the Avs and seemed to get more ice time as the game went on, playing with EJ a lot in the third.

Tyson Barrie (D) - Barrie got crushed all night long on the ice, controlling only 22% of the shot attempts when he was out there, but he managed to be out for a few goals for by the Avs and picked up another assist on the power play.

Blake Comeau (B) - Comeau had another strong game, picking up a goal driving the net in the second period, and that line was certainly the most consistent on the team.  He was a little sloppy with the puck in the defensive zone, but he certainly wasn't alone in that.

Matt Duchene (F) - He got a little too fancy in the neutral zone prior to the Canes second goal and turned it over, and just, in general, had a rough night.

A.J. Greer (B-) - Greer was hard on the forecheck all night long, and it got him a nice assist in the opening period.  He made some nice defensive plays on the backcheck in the second period.

Rocco Grimaldi (F) - Grimaldi's issue has always been in the defensive zone, and it was evident early in the game.  He got put in a tough spot on the first goal but was very much lost on the second goal.  He'll continue to get chances with skilled guys, though.

Erik Johnson (C+) - I thought EJ was definitely the best defenseman on the team.  He was moving his feet all night, and a great defensive play in the second period led to him drawing a penalty.  He got beat up in the third a beat, but so did everyone.

Alexander Kerfoot (C) - His pass-first mentality was on display again in the second.  One time, it led to a great chance for Mironov on a 2 on 1.  Another time, it led to a turnover when he tried to get too fancy.  Hopefully, he will learn.

Gabriel Landeskog (C+) - That line got beat up in the first period, but somehow he finished with an absurd 23 minutes of ice time.  His goal was exactly the type of goal you want to see from him driving to the net.

Anton Lindholm (C-) - His ice time decreased as the game went on, and seemed to lose his spot on the top pairing in the third.  He made some nice plays overall but got caught a good amount too, including Skinner getting behind him for a break in the second.  He also made the clear right up the middle to E. Lindholm on the Canes second goal.

Nathan MacKinnon (C+) - Mack wasn't good in the first, but it was nice to see him use his speed to create a goal against a very good defenseman in Slavin.  The pass to Rantanen for the final goal was sublime too.

Andrei Mironov (F) - It's obvious right now that Mironov is in over his head at this level.  Will it get better?  Who knows, but the Avs have two good young players sitting right now to give him a look, so they can't just keep him in there when he's not performing.

Patrik Nemeth (C+) - It was a night of wild up and downs for him.  He was horrendous early, putting Grimaldi in a terrible spot on the first goal, but then came back with a random bomb to give the Avs the lead.  He seemed to settle down a bit as the game went on, but his advanced stats since the win in New Jersey are not pretty.

Matt Nieto (B) - He's a part of the most consistent line on the team right now, and using his speed well to create opportunities.  The injuries have given him another chance this year.

Mikko Rantanen (C+) - He's still an enigma wrapped in a riddle at even strength and missed an empty net by a mile late, but another goal on the power play keeps him riding the hot hand.

Carl Soderberg (A) - It's a story of redemption for Soderberg right now, as he was once again their most consistent forward, and rewarded with a lot of ice time to boot.  What happened last year is truly a mystery because he's still a talented player.

Semyon Varlamov (A-) - The minus is because that first goal was hideous, but he was tremendous throughout.  A lot of the shots came from the outside, and you'd like to see him swallow up a few more of them, but it's hard to argue with 57 saves.

Nail Yakupov (B-) - Yak continues to work hard, but his ice time has been very limited, with less than 10 minutes tonight.  He did pick up an assist on the second goal.  It'll be interesting to see if he gets another shot in the top 6.

The Avalanche hit the road and take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.  The game starts at 5 PM MST.

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